What a surprise and pleasure it is to bump into the "real." How good it is to be here again. Caution: it does require the informed eye and mind. Again, that long look. The warning label reads: slow down.
“Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself,” - William Blake
It’s easy to call Fearful Symmetries a nostalgic reflex but doing so falsely implies that there is a regressive tenor to matters. Achacoso may be returning to the familiar territory here, willfully sifting through motifs and totems of his past work, rummaging through his own aesthetic attic, stirring up his own primordial soup if you will, but not only is there a viscous Boschian otherness to the new work, you also get a sense that he is exposing them to new air and beholding them with the same eyes but under the glare of new light.
The images he ransacks and reframes, images that were once rote and familiar, images that were the ore of his corpus, have now become remote and inscrutable in the interim, shape-shifted in fact to such a radical degree as to become uncharted almost. But what captures his fancy isn’t necessarily the shock of the familiar being slanted at such an angle as to seem unfamiliar, but expounding on the process of transformation, both in the natural, biological sense but also, as the title infers, in the supernatural, perhaps even cosmic sense, taken as it is from William Blake’s iconic work, The Tyger, a touchstone in the formation of the show’s poetics, along with J.B.S. Haldane’s quote: “God must have an inordinate fondness for beetles.”
One of every eight animals, after all, is a beetle and they carry within their species every possible pattern template possible. If God was creating in his own image but making more beetles than men, then could God himself be a beetle? The images of pupas and seeds are recurring imagery that refers to this odd, unique congress insects and plants seem to share, but also sharpening into relief their dichotomous nature, how both are tiny vessels that can store a disproportionate amount of data, how both are gestating but dormant, how both possess that fearful symmetry. It’s not the metamorphosing itself that preoccupies Achacoso but rather what transpires in the flux of metamorphosing; the dichotomies, the negotiations, the aberrations.
In her second show, Raena
takes the silver gelatin
process and breathes poetry
into the medium through
portraiture that embraces
the sacred and transcends the
prosaic through the gaze of time.
The artist seizes life in
the silent throes of ceasing
to be; right at the point where
ferment turns into decay.
And that precise moment is
where beauty is at its most
fragile and most powerful,
like a refraction of the
dusklight on an ebbing tide,
leaving footprints on shorelines
of this nourishing darkness ---
her song to impermanence;
to the ineluctable; and,
to the transformative sublime.